Roman Roads in Bradwell

 In history

I am struggling with lidar. In case you have never seen this word, it is a laser light exploration of the ground beneath our feet. The process can show up ground features we simply cannot see on the surface. It works because I found a known Roman road. This was a faint line forging across the map, ignoring all boundaries, walls and hedges. That line proved it was first. Being in place before all these other features proves it is old. With confidence, I looked for all the other Roman roads said to exist. Nothing! Not an iota after hours of tired eyes and frazzled brain. However, that just made me think it out and ask the question, why is this happening? Ultimately, you can find answers but never sufficient to allow you to sleep soundly. Roman roads in Bradwell is insomnia!


It all started when Ann and I saw two detectorists checking a field. I chatted to one and he explained that he had found Roman items. However, these were reported to an internet site and not locally. In the past the local museum was first choice. He used and brought the website up on his mobile. So, I joined for one year and discovered lidar. Talk about getting up to speed. Firstly, there are lots of references to Roman coin finds. Secondly, all Roman finds in an area can readily be seen on a map. Coin finds, if they do nothing else, can suggest activity if they cluster at certain places. Those clusters become obvious and all we have to do is make sense of them. Perhaps that is easier said than done.

Roman roads in Bradwell

What all this tells me is that the Romans were active, exploiting our area and making money. Then they lost it, or secreted it, and we have to ask why? It seems that some suggest that what we find is stolen goods, which somebody secreted for a period. If so, why did they not return? Otherwise, it appears that the owner of the goods secreted them but, once again, failed to return. That would be odd in that the Roman period appears fairly law abiding and safe. However, as the Romans left, crime flourished. Perhaps all the valuables we find were deposited at that late period. I must stop hiding my money in the compost heap!

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Trer Ceiri HillfortThe Romans in Bradwell